Bonifacio back with Braves on 1-year deal
Source: Infielder, who provided versatility in Atlanta, gets $1.25 million after struggling in Chicago
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Braves took another step toward completing their 2016 roster on Wednesday afternoon, when they lured Emilio Bonifacio back to Atlanta to provide the same kind of versatility he did during the final two months of the '14 season.
A Major League source confirmed that Bonifacio and the Braves have agreed to a one-year, $1.25 million deal that is pending a physical. This deal, which hasn't been confirmed by the team, has the potential to strengthen Atlanta's bench with the addition of a veteran switch-hitter who provides some defensive versatility.
While Bonifacio provides some value via his ability to provide depth in the infield and outfield, this appears to be the latest low-risk gamble taken by the Braves, who provided a nearly identical deal to backup infielder Gordon Beckham last week.
Like Beckham, Bonifacio is looking to bounce back from the rough season he experienced in 2015 with the White Sox. He batted just .167 with a .198 on-base percentage while compiling just 82 plate appearances before being released in August.
It's safe to say Bonifacio did not live up to the expectations that were set when he signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the White Sox last winter. In fact, he has struggled since the Braves acquired him at the 2014 non-waiver Trade Deadline and then saw him hit .212 with a .553 OPS and 12 stolen bases over 41 games.
Despite his recent struggles, Bonifacio has maintained an upbeat personality that has long made him a favorite among teammates. He played for Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez during that previous short stint in Atlanta and also while with the Marlins in 2009-10.
Bonifacio's offensive struggles this year limited him to just one stolen base. But he swiped at least 26 bags on an annual basis from 2011-14.
While Beckham serves as the better defensive option across the infield, Bonifacio's value is enhanced by his ability to play any of the outfield positions.